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Franklin D. Cleckley Fellow

Nathan Maxwell is the 2016-18 Franklin D. Cleckley Fellow in the College of Law's West Virginia Innocence Project.

Nathan is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. He received his B.S. in Human Health from Arizona State University in 2008, then worked in non-profit organizations for five years, focusing on HIV and mental illness before obtaining his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 2016.

During law school, Nathan participated in the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic’s Exoneration Project, where he co-wrote the petition for post-conviction relief which led to the successful release and exoneration of Ben Baker in January 2016. Nathan also worked in the International Human Rights Clinic, conducting research into the inclusion of women’s rights in modern constitutional reform processes, and the subsequent legislative implementation of those rights. Nathan and his team presented their findings in May 2016 to UN-Women in New York.

Nathan interned with several public interest organizations—including the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, the International Refugee Assistance Project, ACLU of Illinois, and the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center —and completed over 500 hours of pro bono work during his law school career. He also worked as a summer intern for Loevy & Loevy, a pre-eminent civil rights litigation firm in Chicago, where he worked on cases involving police misconduct, prisoners’ rights, prison health care administration, the False Claims Act, and employment discrimination.

While attending law school, Nathan also completed a graduate certificate from the Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Through this program, Nathan worked as a research assistant in the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) at the University of Chicago, researching syndemic health concerns for multiple-minority status people on the South Side of Chicago.

For his dedication and work in the public interest during law school, Nathan received the 2015 2L Public Service Award, the 2015 Norval Morris Public Interest Fellowship, and the 2016 James C. Hormel Public Service Award. He was also named the 2014-2015 Ray E. Brown Fellow, and the 2015-2016 Arthur Quern Fellow by the Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy.


Nathan is excited to have the opportunity to work on behalf of wrongfully convicted persons in West Virginians. He is very proud to have a position named in honor of Justice Franklin D. Cleckley.



Previous Cleckley Fellows 

Italia Patti — 2014-16

Kristen McKeon — 2012-14

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